How to get a job at a Big Four accounting firm

Big Four jobs

From KPMG rising star to budding pet food entrepreneur, the world truly is Zoe Ooi CPA’s oyster.

Zoe, who is a private enterprise consultant for Big Four accounting firm, KPMG, has also had success with her own line of healthy home-made pet treats called Champ’s Treat Pantry.

She says the new business sprung up 'organically' after trying to create healthy treats for her Springer Spaniel named Champ.

Numbers run in the family

Zoe’s love of numbers, on the other hand, developed in early childhood thanks her mother, who hails from an auditing background. And, a high school accounting class sealed her fate.

“It really gave me so much satisfaction when my balance sheet balanced and my financial statements all worked out perfectly. So that was why I decided to undertake an accounting degree,’’ says Zoe.

The 23-year-old completed a Bachelor of Business Analysis majoring in Accounting at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and was then lucky enough to secure an internship at KPMG Malaysia.

Get ahead with an overseas experience

Zoe says the reality of working in a different country, complete with its own customs and procedures, was a highly beneficial and “eye-opening” experience.

The private enterprise consultant says she is now revelling in her specialised accounting role, providing corporate clients and high-net worth individuals with anything from basic accounting to special advisory services for international investors.

Finding the right career fit

Zoe says the role is a much better fit than her previous position, where she was auditing financials for multinational companies such as the ANZ Bank and Southern Cross.

“I’m actually quite happy in my current role. I’m at a place in my life where I love what I do and I’m enjoying the learning curve. I do see myself growing in this role and progressing with the firm.

“I love stability, I like knowing what I’m doing, where I’m going, and what the next step looks like."

Accountant to entrepreneur

Zoe says if Champ’s Treat’s Pantry takes off, however, she was also happy to jump on to the “entrepreneurial bandwagon and see where that takes me”.

As for her CPA qualification, Zoe, who is an Associate Member, is adamant it will give her a world-class qualification that she could take anywhere.

“I chose to study the CPA Program because I really enjoy the flexibility and the ownership of taking charge of my own study and career path which is very important because I can tailor it to suit the different peaks and troughs in my work and study commitments."

Zoe Ooi’s top tips for finance and accounting graduates on how to get a job:

  • Focus on your career journey, not just its destination
  • Find an area you have a strong interest in and specialise. Don’t settle! Finding the right fit will make getting out of bed in the morning just that little bit easier
  • Dare to dream but also dare to ask. It’s true when people say ask and you shall receive. If not, ask again! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve

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